According to Pirkei d'Rebbi Eliezer:

  • The first beracha of Shemoneh Esrei, "Blessed are You, Hashem, Protector of Avraham," refers to Hashem's protecting Avraham during the war with the four kings (ch. 27)
  • The second beracha, "Who causes the dead to live," refers to Akeidas Yitzchak (ch. 31)
  • The third beracha, "The holy G-d," refers to the night of Yaakov's dream on Har HaMoriah (ch. 35)
  • The fourth beracha, "Who bestows knowledge," refers to when Hashem told Moshe His Name by the Sneh (ch. 40)
  • The fifth beracha, "Who desires repentance," refers to Hashem's desire that we repent before the coming of Mashiach (ch. 43)

And there the pattern ends. The Midrash doesn't connect any of the other berachos to events in Tanach.

On several occasions it seems to set itself up for that punchline. For instance, ch. 46 is full of discussions of Hashem's forgiving of sin, specifically in connection to the Eigel. I was fully expecting the Midrash to conclude with a reference to the sixth beracha of Shemoneh Esrei, which deals with forgiveness, but no, the Midrash simply ends with Hashem's statement of forgiveness. Similarly I expected ch. 29 to connect the beracha of healing to Hashem's healing of Avraham's Bris Milah (compare Megillah 17b that this beracha was placed as the eighth beracha because Bris Milah is done on the eighth day).

Why does the Midrash only discuss the first five berachos of Shemoneh Esrei and not the remaining thirteen (fourteen)?



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